January 14, 2019

CBD and Psychotherapy for Depression – A Good Combination?

A depressive disorder, or just depression, appears to be turning into a “generic” illness nowadays. While the manifestations of the symptoms may be different from one individual to another, the usual signs are still there like the extremely low moods including helplessness, hopelessness, numbness, self-pity, despair, and other dark thoughts where these people are letting themselves live in for most of their moments. Hence, this mental state is becoming a horrible condition as time goes by due to its persistent and consistent appearances that are difficult to shake once it casts its spell on you. No wonder, statistics show depression to be one of the top ten causes of deaths around the globe, and not only in the United States.


You see, there are an estimated 25 million Americans who are suffering from depression every year, and more than 50% of them commit suicide. Moreover, the figures will even increase to 75% if you include those people who are suffering from both alcoholism and depression. This condition affects around 5-8 percent of American (18 and above), and sadly, they suffer more from it than cancer, coronary heart disease, and HIV or AIDS. Fortunately, depression is treatable, and 80-90% of people who have it responds to treatments positively. There’s still hope, and you only have to recognize your condition as the first step to recovery. In this article, you’d learn about specific treatments like psychotherapy and CBD for depression.  


The Doctor is In: Psychotherapy for Depression

Talk therapy, or formally known as psychotherapy is referred to as that due to its entire procedure. It’s usually a formal or professional type of counseling where someone, preferably a mental health professional, will listen to the patient’s issues like his or her mental and emotional sufferings. The primary goal of psychotherapy is to let the patient open up so that both him or her and the doctor will work on the triggers of depression, as well as the appropriate action to be taken next. Hence, through psychotherapy, the patient should be able to cope with his or her daily life and move forward.

On the other side, the sessions in psychotherapy can not only be conducted individually, but also in a couple, group, and even family setting. Most of these counsellings last for about 30 to 50 minutes and can be a short-term (only a few sessions), or a long-term one (months to years) depending on the patient’s condition. Additionally, it’s upon the agreement between patient and therapist on how long, fast or slow, their sessions will be as trust (and nothing more) has to be build up in this kind of treatment. Besides, any intimate physical contact between therapist and patient is never perceived to be acceptable, appropriate, or even useful. Professionalism has to be strictly observed.


The Different Types of Psychotherapy for Depression

Different therapies are being used to treat depression, and most of them are within the preference of the patient as agreed by the therapist. These therapies can be combined or changed depending on the status of the patient, whether there’s an improvement or none at all. First on the list is the cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) which is intended to address the thinking and behavioral patterns of the patient, as well as the problem-solving skills, that can be applied to the “real world” to recognize if there’s any improvement.


Another one is the interpersonal therapy (IPT) which is a short-term type of this treatment. It focuses on the patient’s capacity to understand personal issues that trigger his or her depression like unresolved grief and other related troubles. The other therapies include dialectical behavior therapy (CBT for emotions), psychodynamic therapy (tracing childhood experiences), psychoanalysis (an intensive version of psychodynamic), and supportive therapy (building oneself). In some cases, other treatments such as animal-assisted, play, and creative arts are also added to the list.


Here’s What is In: CBD for Depression

Cannabidiol, or just CBD, is currently one of the latest “applied” treatment for depression. It’s another disputable compound from cannabis (marijuana) that appears to be “worthy” enough in the field of mental disorders. You see, this cannabinoid can address the trigger factor of depression in the brain, which is the serotonin. This neurotransmitter affects your emotions and motor functions as it acts as your body’s mood stabilizer. Hence, once the level of serotonin becomes too low, it leads to depression. It’s where CBD enters the picture as it interacts with receptor 5-HT1A, the one releasing serotonin, to reduce the issues and make it functional again to relieve your depression.


CBD contains different essentials that are beneficial for those people who are suffering from this mental condition because it includes antidepressant, anti-anxiety, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and pain relief properties among others. These CBD attributes are valid and not overboard. As a fact, in a study from 2014, where animal models who have depression and anxiety were observed, the authors related that CBD use had improved their symptoms. Hence, the study demonstrated a proven considerable interaction between CBD and 5-HT1A serotonin receptor. More clinical trials on human subjects are still ongoing though.


The Combination of CBD and Psychotherapy

Combining medication and therapy is not a new practice for treatment in those patients who suffer from depression. Hence, CBD and psychotherapy combination will be no different from such method. You see, while psychotherapy acts as an initial form of treatment, it’s usually not enough. For instance, not all patients would be willing to speak to a therapist and spill the beans. It’s the reason why there are patients who choose to self-medicate than to seek a health professional’s help, after all. However, the same, or even worse, could happen to those patients who are only drugs-reliant as they will have this tendency to overdose and end their lives any time they see fit to do so.


For the said possibilities, it’d be better to combine medication and psychotherapy for good measure, at least the patients will see and talk to other people from time to time. As for CBD, it can add some benefits and more (or not) to the typical medications for depression without the risk of addiction and worse, overdose. It’s what CBD’s known for, after all, and if you haven’t heard of that before, at least now you know. In general, the combination of CBD and psychotherapy for depression may be a good one or not. You see, every individual has different reactions or responses to specific treatments, and while you argue that there are also similarities, still, the presence of the distinctions will be undeniable.

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